Council Directive 2003/109/EC concerns the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents.    Pursuant to such, the integration of third country nationals who are long-term residents in an EU State is essential in promoting economic and social cohesion in the EU. A third country national, who has legally resided in an EU State is eligible to be granted a set of uniform rights, almost identical to those enjoyed by EU citizens.

Cyprus has adopted this directive thus giving the right to third country nationals that comply with the conditions seen below to upgrade their PR status into the long term residence status which will allow them to enjoy similar rights as EU citizens including being able to legally work in the Republic.



The Civil Registry and Migration department can grant long-term resident permits to third-country nationals  (including family members of European Union citizens that are not covered by the Right of Union Citizens and their Family Members to Move and Reside Freely within the Territory of the Republic Law No. 7(I)/2007) who have resided legally and continuously within its territory for the five years preceding the submission of the application.  Periods of absence from Cypriot  territory shall not be considered to interrupt the five year period provided :

  • The applicant has not spent more than 10 cumulative months out of the Republic of Cyprus during the aforementioned five year period
  • The applicant has not spent more than 6 continuous months out of the Republic of Cyprus during the aforementioned five year period



To submit the application, the third-country national has to provide evidence as follows:

  1. stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain himself/herself and the members of his/her family, without recourse to the social assistance system
  2. sickness insurance
  3. a certificate of knowledge of the Greek language ( Level A2)

The application is submitted with the Civil Registry and Migration department and the examination period is currently set at six months. Once approved, the applicant will obtain a Biometric Card which will verify his/hers Long Term Residency status. The said permit will be valid for a period of five years and an application for the renewal of such can be submitted with the Civil Registry and Migration department three months before its expiry date.

Once approved, the long term residency permit holder shall enjoy equal treatment rights as any other EU citizen and will be eligible to enjoy the following benefits :

  1. access to employment and self-employed activity;
  2. education and vocational training, including study grants in accordance with the Cypriot law;
  3. recognition of professional diplomas, certificates and other qualifications, in accordance with the relevant procedures set out by the Cypriot Government ;
  4. social security, social assistance and social protection as defined by Cypriot law;
  5. tax benefits;
  6. access to goods and services and the supply of goods and services made available to the public and to procedures for obtaining housing;
  7. freedom of association and affiliation and membership of an organisation representing workers or employers or of any organisation whose members are engaged in a specific occupation, including the benefits conferred by such organisations, without prejudice to the national provisions on public policy and public security;
  8. free access to the entire territory of the Republic of Cyprus, within the limits provided for by the national legislation for reasons of security

A long-term resident may exercise the right of residence, for a period exceeding three months, in any other EU Member State other than Cyprus, subject to them complying with certain conditions and requirements imposed by that specific EU Member state including but not limited to :

  1. Exercise of an economic activity in an employed or self-employed capacity;
  2. Pursuit of studies or vocational training;
  3. other purposes.



Long-term residents shall no longer be entitled to maintain long-term resident status in the following cases:

  1. The Long Term residency holder is absent from the EU territory for twelve consecutive months
  2. The Long Term residency holder obtains the Long Term resident status in another EU Member State.
  3. The Long Term residency holder is absent from the Republic of Cyprus for six consecutive years

Conclusively, a Residence Permit does not simply bestow you with the right to live in Cyprus but can lead to enhanced rights and benefits

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. For any further information, please contact Eleni Simillidi at Andreas Demetriades & Co LLC by email at eleni@demetriadeslaw.com or by phone +357 26 811 668.



Andreas Demetriades & Co LLC, leads with a team of qualified Cypriot Lawyers who have an in-depth knowledge of the law and the procedures pertaining to the Cyprus Immigration Laws. Having their base in Cyprus, it allows them to speedily resolve any issues, thus, avoiding unnecessary delays.

The Firm has a wealth of experience offering clients the best possible legal support by providing step-by-step guidance through the whole process of submitting their application and securing their residence permit.

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